Is Gut Health Influencing Mental Health?
A study published in the journal Nature Microbiology has found a link between gut health and mental health.
In the study manuscript entitled ‘The neuroactive potential of the human gut microbiota in quality of life and depression’, Professor Jeroen Raes and his team studied the relationship between gut bacteria and quality of life and depression.
The authors combined faecal microbiome data with general practitioner diagnoses of depression from 1,054 individuals enrolled in the Flemish Gut Flora Project.
They identified specific groups of microorganisms that positively or negatively correlated with mental health.
The authors found that two bacterial genera, Coprococcus and Dialister, were consistently depleted in individuals with depression, regardless of antidepressant treatment.
The results were validated in an independent cohort of 1,063 individuals from the Dutch LifeLinesDEEP cohort and in a cohort of clinically depressed patients at the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium.
Prof Raes said: “The relationship between gut microbial metabolism and mental health is a controversial topic in microbiome research.
“The notion that microbial metabolites can interact with our brain — and thus behaviour and feelings — is intriguing, but gut microbiome-brain communication has mostly been explored in animal models, with human research lagging behind.
“In our population-level study, we identified several groups of bacteria that co-varied with human depression and quality of life across populations.”
Gut health has had major interest of late with many in the health field labelling it ‘the second brain’ that needs to be in consistent good condition.
A regimen for good gut health includes intermittent fasting, pickled foods, and fermented health drinks such as Kombucha.
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